Thursday, December 17, 2009

Daves Faves 2009

There's such a love hate relationship with this ritual. Those of you who partake in this annual exercise know the struggle. With so much great music this past year, where, who, what, when, how to begin? Well, fortunately with the help of Rhapsody (yes, another plug) I've been dropping my faves into a playlist throughout the year. So, here in December, it just comes down to taking a look back, arranging and pairing it down to a CD length mix. 80 minutes of music; easy enough right? Not so much with roughly 100 tunes that made it into the 2009 "drop box" of faves. But in the end I made some compromises and came up with a mix that I think represents my year in music pretty well. There's a bit of everything in there. Some highs, some lows, but that's how the story goes. So, now, without further ado, Daves Faves 2009...

Album art: 2009 was the year of the black cat. (R.I.P. Lucy / Welcome little Louie)

1---Black & Blue--------Miike Snow
2---Smile Upon Me-------Passion Pit
4---Psychic City--------Yacht
5---Set You On Fire-----Think About Life
6---Deadbeat Summer-----Neon Indian
7---Walking On A Dream--Empire Of The Sun
8---Bluish--------------Animal Collective
9---Dear God------------Monsters Of Folk
10--Gotta Cheer Up------Cotton Jones
11--Blood Bank----------Bon Iver
12--Blue Skies----------Noah and the Whale
14--Until We Bleed------Kleerup (Feat. Lykke Li)
15--Never Never---------Little Dragon
16--Islands-------------The xx
17--Leap----------------The Cave Singers
18--Hysteric------------Yeah Yeah Yeahs
19--Sweet Disposition---The Temper Trap

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rhapsody Commercial

So the final Rhapsody commercials I'm featured in will start airing tonight on MTV networks. It was a memorable process to go through and it's been fun to see how they all turned out. The Rhapsody team, and MTV film crew were excellent. Director Brennan Stasiewicz did a great job capturing the "moments" and maintaining a sense of authenticity other such "reality" spots often lack.
If your interested, check out more of my thoughts on the commercial spot and music in general on the real networks blog.
Also, you can look for my Daves Faves 2009 playlist on Rhapsody Playlist Central next week!

A little background on this one. This is the spot where they'd give me a song to look up and describe a moment it would be perfect for. The reason I look so confused at first is because, well, I am. Just before the Lamb of God song shown, I was listening to and describing mellow, sentimental stuff like Bon Iver, etc. So the sound of shredding metal was a shocker no doubt! The only thing I could think of was the guy at the corner store we call Heavy Metal. Every time we walk into the store he's blasting some hard core death metal that gives a good jolt to the system; just like this moment! I hope Metal don't mind the reference!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Found out they were playing last night at Neumo's so we decided to stick around and see if we could get into the show. With the help of my cardboard sign and Colleen's sweet Southern charm the lady in the box office granted us a few extra tickets after selling out of the extra tickets to the already sold out show. So we made it in and the show was great!
First, the opener Local Natives was fantastic. (Kind of like Yeasayer.) The next band Fools Gold was really high energy with a afro-latin flavor that got the crowd movin. Then all 11 of ES & the MZs filled the stage. Definitely worth the trouble to see them. With such a big arrangement it of course is visually a great show, but they got into the crowd as well. It's been a while since I've seen an entire Seattle crowd doing the bounce dance in unison. Much fun. They got this Neo Hippie AM Gold thing going on that is super fun. Kinda of a fusion of Neil Diamond, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Karen Dalton, and the Polyphonic Spree. Or maybe what Arcade Fire would sound like if they were to record an album from a 1970s California hippie commune. I don't know, its just good.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Take Me Home Love

If this song don't make ya wanna get up and swing around the living room then you's a hopeless soul. The album version is great, but seeing their performance makes it even more better; love is infectious man, isn't life rad?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Think About Life

More 80's inspired synth-pop to make your day a little more gay. (like thsuper happy, duh.)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Aye Ya Ya Ya

We spent this Thanksgiving weekend (Wednesday night till Monday morning) up at Lake Wenatchee with our dear friends Chris and Mere. Most of the time was spent eating, lounging, playing dominoes, and of course, listening to music. The song I will forever associate with this memorable weekend is Yacht's Psychic City. The perfect song for havin fun doin nuthin with your people...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Constant Surprises

Little Dragon is one of those groups that has been lingering in my mind for a while, but for whatever reason hadn't got the play they deserve, until now. I first fell in love with Swedish-Japanese singer Yukimi Nagano's voice on Koop's Koop Island record. Her smokey-smooth vocal stylings over Koop's sophisticated electro jazz were instant faves (she's easy on the eyes as well). Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't know much more about her until my dear friend and fellow music nut Ann turned me on to the Little Dragon album. Still, I hadn't given it the attention it deserves until the new release Machine Dreams came out recently. Listening to it I was inspired to revisit their debut and now I have both albums in heavy rotation where they should be. Constant surprises...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Set Adrift On Nineties Bliss

One of my faves of all time. Who doesn't love this one? Christina Applegate ya gotta put me on...

Album: Of the Heart, Of the Soul and of the Cross (1991)
Sample: Spandau Ballet "True"

Neon Indian Summer

Neon Indian fortify their soft serve low-fi soundwith retro-futuristic synth-pop. Familiar yet refreshingly new and different, it's perfect background music for making any thirty-something get-together a little hipper. I miss summer.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

That's a Rhap

So yesterday I had my brush with reality TV fame as an MTV camera crew followed me around for a Rhapsody commercial shoot. The concept for the spot was that for every moment there is a song and you can get that song "anytime, anywhere on Rhapsody." To convey this they set out to capture an average day of a normal Rhapsody user (me) and overlay the personal soundtrack I'd choose for specific moments.

A Little Background
Those who know me well know that I am a big Rhapsody user/ fan. So, it seemed fitting that when Heidi O' sent me a link for a "Rhapsody's biggest fan casting call" I had to submit. I answered some questions (written and on film) and sent in my submission. A few days later (last Friday) I found out I was selected. Before I knew it (or could rethink it), 10 guys were out here from New York to shoot a commercial!

The Day
The plan was to capture a normal, yet interesting day. With not much happening on this particular fall Saturday and the inclement weather adding another twist, interesting proved to be a bit difficult. The crew was super cool though and made do with my surprisingly uninspired day. Starting at our house around 9:30 a.m., the following is a list of the scenes we shot and the songs that they reminded me of (to be edited in as the soundtrack to the commercial).

Making breakfast for Colleen and I- My Morning Jacket- The Way That He Sings

Bike Ride Through City- The Temper Trap- Sweet Disposition

Catching the sunset at South Lake Union Park (self reflection scene)- The XX- Islands

Workin late at the office- Thievery Corporation- Lebanese Blonde

Hangin out with friends- Passion Pit- Smile Upon Me

That's a Rhap
All in all it was a pretty fun day. I wish we had some better weather though to make getting out around the city a bit easier. The hardest parts were definitely the close-up shots when they asked me about the moments we shot and what song it reminded me of. Picking a song off the top of my head and describing why I chose it proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be. With the lights, cameras, and crew all up in my grill, expressing personal moments through song off the cuff was not an easy task; a bit stressful even.

So, I don't think I'll be signing up for any reality shows any time soon, or ever for that matter. I'd much rather be on the other side of the camera for sure. I definitely could see marketing for Rhapspdy or creative director being a pretty sweet gig...

(The commercial should air on the the various MTV channels sometime in December/ January.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Blue Skies Are Coming

Been spending some time with the new Noah and the Whale album The First Days of Spring. It's gotta be the best break-up album I've heard in years, possibly ever. Intimate guitars and expanding orchestration; this is a collection of lonely portraits depicting the struggles of finding optimism with a broken heart. A beautiful sad happy album that'll almost make you wish you just got dumped... almost.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jeepers Creepers

Without even realizing it this album has snuck its way into my top faves of the year. It's one of those I put on, listened to the whole way through not thinking too much of it, then found myself humming the tunes hours later needing another fix. It's got this dark romance thing going on that I find quite appealing for the season. Emo hipster brit kids do it again!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Roll Up Your Sleeves For Winter

Walked to work this morning. A crisp fall day, I brought my studio ear warmers along- a bit over the top but dang they sound amazing! Anyway, this was the standout track crunchin 4 miles of fallen leaves. Straight forward punky rock thatScott soul.
We Were Promised Jetpacks: grit I'm diggin for grindin out my day.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

In the Mix: November '09

The year is winding down. Looking forward to shortlisting my 2009 faves. In the meantime, thought I'd share what's in my mixer right now...

(Gotta love Rhapsody... more to come on that...)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Desert Island Discs

You, know the scenario: You're stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life and you only have 10 albums to listen to.

Not just your favorites, this list must be something more. Variety is key. Selections need to span the extreme highs and lows of your lonely life in paradise. The following is what would get me through...

Bob Marley- Exodus

Manu Chao- Proxima Estacion: Esperanza

The Postal Service- Give Up

Van Morrison- Moondance

Neil Young- Unplugged

Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago

Bright Eyes- Digital Ash In a Digital Urn

Pearl Jam- Ten

Kings of Leon- Aha Shake Heartbreak

Public Enemy-It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back